1915-06-22 (142lbs) Jack Britton w pts 12 Mike Glover, Armory AA, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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1915-06-22 (142lbs) Jack Britton w pts 12 Mike Glover, Armory AA, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Referee: Patsy Haley. On the day of the contest the Lowell Sun reported that the bout would virtually settle the 142lbs welterweight title, the winner being the logical successor to previous champions. For five rounds Glover, countering and moving well, matched Britton jab for jab, but from thereon he began to tire and the latter took full advantage. Winning five of the last seven rounds, having all his own way, Britton won easily even though Glover never stopped trying for a knockout. The newspaper report claimed that having to make 141lbs at 4pm on the day of the fight drained Glover and his championship hopes disintegrated, having just 11 more contests before passing away at the age of 26 on 11 July 1917.

After winning it is unclear as to whether Britton took over Glover’s welterweight claim, seemingly being more interested in getting his hands on the lightweight crown when signing for a match against NYC’s Johnny Dundee at 133lbs ringside. Put back until 8 August due to Dundee being injured, it was later postponed indefinitely when Britton was unavailable and a match with Ted Kid Lewis was agreed for the end of the month.

With regards to Britton’s contest against Lewis, who outscored him over 12 rounds on 31 August at the Armory AA, it would appear that historians down the years have tried to tidy up the descent of the weight division without examining the full facts, a perfectly good argument put forward by Luckett Davis. A quote from Lewis’ memoirs said that Nat Fleischer got it wrong in the Ring Record Book when suggesting that this contest was for the welterweight title. At this stage of his career, Lewis was also looking for a crack at the lightweight title and had agreed articles for the bar to be set at 135lbs, a weight he made without any difficulty at 3pm, while Britton refused to weigh in. After much bargaining it took 20 minutes for the contest to get underway before Lewis finally gave in to Britton’s wishes and removed his gumshield, which had been seen by the American as giving his opponent an unfair advantage. Once in action Lewis went on the attack before being dropped by a straight left when overbalanced and then hit on the neck when down. From thereon Lewis hardly gave his man a moments rest and the pair battled it out with the Englishman having a decided edge with his volume of blows often forcing Britton back.

Technically, Britton’s claim would have passed to Lewis on the result, but neither man seemed interested in pursuing the welterweight title at that moment in time, both continuing to see themselves as lightweights.

On 27 September Lewis again outscored Britton over 12 rounds at the same venue. This time it was Lewis who refused to get on the scales, while Britton weighed in at 136½lbs.

Following a six-rounder against Willie Moore (nd-w pts 6 on 18 October at the Olympia AC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Lewis took on four 12-round contests in Boston (the first three being held at the Armory AA and the fourth at the Atlas AA) against top-class Americans in Joe Mandot, Milburn Saylor, Lockport Jimmy Duffy and Mike Glover, the first two being at the lightweight limit and the last two at catchweights. Following the results against Mandot (w pts 12 on 26 October), Saylor (w pts 12 on 2 November), Duffy (w rsc 1 on 23 November) and Glover (l pts 12 on 30 November), and taking his wins over Britton into account, Lewis claimed the welterweight title in early December after being unable to get a crack at Freddie Welsh for the 135lbs championship.

His manager, Jimmy Johnston, who was also the new manager of Madison Square Garden, then matched Lewis against the former lightweight champion, Willie Ritchie, to contest the vacant title at that venue. Ritchie had added his name to the list of claimants on 3 November after challenging Packy McFarland, Lewis or Britton to decide who should be the champion.

Earlier, on 22 August, a group representing 14 boxing clubs in various States, formed the American Boxing Association (ABA) at a meeting in Cleveland. Recognising a weight limit of 147lbs, which fell into line with the weight scale used in Europe, in November they stated that they would accept the winner of an elimination series involving the likes of Lewis, Britton, McFarland, Ritchie, Kid Graves, Harry Stone, Mike O’Dowd and Soldier Bartfield as champion. Despite the ABA calling for a 147lbs welterweight class, it would not be until 1920 that America fell into line with the rest of the boxing world at that weight.